Tallinn, 22 July 2005Tallinn, 07 July 2005
For immediate release


Information Centre of Finno-Ugric Peoples
phone/fax: +372 644 9270
e-mail: suri@suri.ee

International attention to problems of national minorities in the Russian Federation is not decreasing

The foreign affairs committee of the Estonian parliament, meeting with Rolf Ekeus, High Commissioner for National Minorities of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), raised the issue of Russia's national minorities last Wednesday, 26th October, speaking about problems in Mari El, Chechnya, Koryakia and Buryatia.

Chairman of the committee Enn Eesmaa said Estonia is particularly interested in the welfare of Finno-Ugric people, adding that members of parliament were actively dealing with the issue in different parliamentary assemblies, a spokesman for the parliament reported.

Ekeus said that he had given little attention to issues of national minorities in Russia. He said that the problems had more often to do with politics and security than with ethnicity.

Estonia follows developments of situation with Finno-Ugric peoples in Russia. For example, Estonian representatives participate in the international seminar “The enlargement of the Consultative Committees’ activities within the international cooperation”, in Syktyvkar, Komi Republic, Russian Federation, 10th – 13th of November 2005.

Estonian member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Katrin Saks, who prepares the Report on the situation of Finno-Ugric peoples in Russia, is invited to the seminar.

The seminar is organized to develop the international cooperation of the Finno-Ugric national organizations with the international structures, especially European ones. Evidently, it concerns also the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, one of the main international organizations in Europe.

This approach shows that leaders of Finno-Ugric movements realize that international attention is crucial in solution of problems caused by inter-ethnic tensions.